How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Antelope CA
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Antelope CA is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Antelope CA laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Antelope CA hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Antelope CA employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Antelope CA students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Antelope CA medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Antelope CA in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Antelope CA job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Antelope CA hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the California school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Antelope CA health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Antelope CA health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Antelope CA, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Antelope California
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Antelope CA.